FO – Echo Flowers Shawl

I am so delighted to be finished with the Echo Flowers Shawl. I always understood that lace pretty much looks like crap until it’s blocked, but I guess that since this is my second true lace project, that fact really hadn’t solidified in my head yet. With my Girasole, the pattern always stood out and didn’t change much after blocking. So, during the entire time I was knitting Girasole, I kept oohing and ahhing as the pattern turned out.

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This shawl wasn’t like that. I knew it would look a hundred percent better after blocking, but I like to kind of see the pattern stand out as I work. The shawl turned out a weird honeycomb pattern, instead of those lovely “buds” that you see in the finished product. But I persevered, and the day came when I could block and I was not disappointed.

IMG_4600Much better!

Yarn: Malabrigo Lace in the colorway Sunset

Needles: US 4

Finished size: Shawl

Started: June 5, 2013

Finished: July 16th, 2013

I really enjoyed the pattern, but I found personally that some of the directions were hard to understand. I am in the beginning stages of really delving into lace and need things spelled out for me and I felt that some instructions weren’t articulated efficiently.  If you’re a lace veteran then you shouldn’t have a problem and the charts were not a problem at all. The pattern also allows for extra repeats of the Echo Flowers chart. so if you foresee that you will have lots of yarn left over definitely do more repeats. I did one extra, but could have gotten away with fifteen repeats versus the thirteen suggested in the pattern.

I used Malabrigo Lace from my stash and now looking back, I wish I had reconsidered. The yarn felts a lot as you work with it and carry it around, so much so that the only reason why my dropped stitches didn’t ladder down was because the stitch was felted to its neighbor. I’m sure all this felting inhibits a nice blocking in the end, but I’m not sure. The yarn is also tremendously splitty, so if you split a stitch then your work is barely hanging on by a few fibers which made me so worried for weak spots in the shawl. I will say though, the yarn made for a lightweight and airy shawl. I used around one and a half skeins of the lace yarn.

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All in all I am happy happy happy

It’s been so long.

So very long. I haven’t been able to knit in forever. I mean I knit a cuff of a sock during the fall semester last year, but I really do not count that. And let’s not even mention how long it has been since I touched my wheel. The ply I had on the bobbin of the wheel is really rested now.

It’s just been a hectic year with so much drama. And will be even more hectic with a move in my future and still going to school. 

Here is the problem. I’ve just been in a rut. I’m 23 years old and though I know not to rush things, I just want to be done with school and move on with my life. I’ve been in school for too damn long because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and then in the end I will only come out with my bachelors, even though I committed the time needed for a masters.

Anyways, I’ve always had the time to knit, but have chosen not to. Here is the beauty of knitting, once you get in a groove, you can just think. Here is the downside, once you get in the groove, you can just think. I really just did not want to sit down and have a moment to harangue myself on my life and all the choices I’ve made. This would also make me come to hate whatever I was knitting.

OHMERGERDSUNSHERNEBut obviously I sat down anyways and began to knit the Echo Flowers Shawl. The shawl is a nice reprieve from everything I have been experiencing. It is complicated enough for me to be focused on the pattern, but not difficult in any way that makes me feel like I’m having an aneurysm on over row. I’m looking for a job and this little shawl has helped me to keep me from neurotically checking my phone, thinking that every email or phone call was a potential employer. 

I’m deeming this my sunshine shawl. Because I swear, this Malabrigo Lace in Sunset is like hairy sunshine! I will say though, I would not recommend this yarn for this pattern. I feel like because this is a single ply, I’m going to lose my mind later on in the pattern because, though I have never done nupps, I’m afraid that the nupps will just shred the yarn apart. But others have done it successfully so I am pushing through.

 

Sweet things

With the stress of school, family, and work, sometimes I have to force myself to appreciate the little things because they pass by so easily.

Fruit may not be excellent,
but a little Splenda turns this snack right around.

It was a super hot day,
but that makes for some pretty sunsets.

Getting through a long commute to Philly is a pain,
but it’s one of my favorite places to be.

Coworkers can start a lot of drama,
but they have a lot of heart even when they got to get up at three AM to feed babies.

Friends are usually far away,
but we always find ways to see each other.

I truly am blessed, sometimes I’m just too blind to see it.

THE resolution list


I took the time to finally sit down and plan out the things I would truly like to accomplish this year. Sure, I’d love to lose twenty pounds, but that hasn’t worked any other year. This year I’m aiming for more manageable goals.

Knitting-wise:
1. As stated previously, a yarn destash. I have the opportunity soon to move accross the country and I don’t want to move again with four boxes of just yarn. I’m a military brat as well and have moved a lot. If I have too much of something I start to get panicky.

2. Knit a sweater.

3. Learn colorwork.

4. Try beads in knitting.

General life-wise:
1. Reduce clutter. I live with my parents! I should not have this much stuff!

2. Start saving more! If not for emergencies, then for this move.

3. Read more. I found that I’m a happier camper if I take the time to just relax. I might log all the books I have read for 2011.

4. College GPA. This one is the toughy. I’ve had a very terrible college experience. I’ve only had four semesters and two of those were overtaken by multiple illnesses, including mono. The other I had to deal with a long-term relationship break-up and stalker. So I’ve only had one semester to really be dedicated to my studies.

2011 is looking to be a great year! What are your resolution goals?

Resolutions

It’s enevitable.

Even when I discovered early on that few resolutions are actually fulfilled, I can’t stop making them.

I got sucked into the Flash Your Stash 2011 thread on Ravelry. I suddenly got the urge to have my yarn storage regurgitate all its wooly contents on my full-sized bed.

It’s not that bad. It’s not that bad.

Yes, it’s bad.

I have a six cubby system. One holds handspun, another holds fiber, another holds works-in-progress, and the rest holds the other insignificant parts of my stash. Apparently, I play skilled games of Tetris to fit all of the stash inside.

As I was pulling things and really evaluating my stash I realized that I needed to purge. Not just the volume, but the variety. I realized that I was beyond the big box craft stores standard acrylic yarns and I was onto bigger and better things with my new knitting skills. The nice thing about it though, is now that it’s all been pulled out I’m seeing combos of colors and textures which will make it tremendously easier to think of projects that take up so much yardage.

I can already see three blankets I can make to add to the other two I plan to donate to Project Linus. Hopefully I can do some good while aiming for peace of mind when trying to attack the wooly stash monster at the end of my bed. Maybe since I talked about it, I can be held accountable.

We’ll get to the three fleece boogy men that are under my bed at another time.

Loot

When I went to Rhinebeck I brought along the mentality that I was going to go overboard. I was going to empty my meager budget on fibery goodness and no food or hotel.

This actually held me back! I think….

I only bought one hank of yarn and that was Socks That Rock. Had I not seen it, I think I would have went the whole weekend without buying some yarn. What truly attracted me was all the fiber. You can buy yarn in your local store, but fiber is a whole different story.

So what did I get from the drug dealers pushers vendors?

This is from Clover Lear Farms. It’s four ounces of blue face leicester in the colorway of Triberry Pie.

Also from Clover Leaf Farms, this is an 80/20 mix of wool and silk in the colorway of Red.

I spotted the Loop booth and just had to visit! I had been eyeing Loop’s goods for a long time in her Etsy shop, I never got the courage to shell out that sort of money. Since I finally got to see the fiber in real life I wasn’t as skeptical and was very pleased. I ended up choosing something pretty modest when you compared it to her other rovings. It’s called Purple Mounzins and is 4.6 ounces of alpaca, merino, corriedale, bamboo, tussah silk, silk noil, angelina, and wool and cotton nepps. It looks like a batt, but it’s actually a center pull mass of roving!

I can’t remember the farm which this fleece came from, but it’s three pounds of Teeswater/Coopsworth.

This was purchased from the fleece sale, and it’s five pounds of Romney from Brookworks Farm.

After all these fiber purchases, two things happened. The first was that my fiber obsession was reignited in a new way and I immediately broke out my spinning wheel as soon as I got home. The second was that I had no room for my new goods, so I needed to make room!

I got out some blue Meriboo roving from my local yarn store and spun up this little number.

It’s a navajo-plied yarn made up of 70% merino and 30% bamboo. It has varying shades of blue with little bits of white peeking every once in a while. It’s approximately 115 yards, 3.9 ounces, and has 9-11 WPI.

The roving came from PigeonRoofStudio’s Etsy. It’s 4.1 ounces of superwash merino in the Caffeine colorway. I’m a little dissapointed because the colors were so sharp in the roving and they have dulled out quite a bit on the bobbin, or so it seems. That might be a completely different story once I ply it, either way, I’m sure I will love it.

Hopefully, I’ll make a dent in spinning some extra room for my new goods and finally start consistently stocking new things in my Etsy shop.

Rhinebeck 2010


One of the appeals of coming to the northeast was the fiber community. There is a significant population of people who are more appreciative to fiber here, than there is in Texas. In Texas there is nothing like Rhinebeck and I had to wait patiently for three years to finally come.

I came, I saw, I spent.

I was geeking out the night before. I packed all my things and researched Ravelry for tips and tricks. Packed so much food from home so I would have more money for other goodies.

I set out from south NJ and as soon as I entered the Hudson region I was stunned by the colors of the trees and the mountain line.

The first thing you WILL come across is the vendor buildings. I believe there were about ten or more, and one of the buildings had a second floor! Oh jeez…

Many sold knitted goods…

to accessories and cute buttons…

to lots of yarn, fleece, and luscious fiber goods!

There were two breed display buildings and two buildings for, I suppose, holding for auctions and competitions.

There were many lovely demonstrations!

There were auctions…

and meetups (can you spot Casey?)…

and preparation for competitions!

There were many competitions, such as the sheep to shawl competition…

a photography competition…

the fleece competition and sale…

and, of course, the knitted garment competitions! The cardigan in the front is knitted by Cat from the Letsknit2gether podcast!

I had a fantastic time, although I’m sure my bank account hates me. I was a Rhinebeck virgin so I am sure I missed so much, even though I tried to fill my day to the brim.

I did not get too much yarn, because there was so much fiber there I could never find anywhere else.

One tip to you. If you do go, plan to leave an hour or two early if you can stand to. On saturday, the parking lot was jammed and I was stuck in my car for an hour and a half. Most events repeat for sunday, so you probably could scoot out early and explore the area.

I had an amazing time and I hope to meet you there as well!